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Wild Sea : A History of the Southern Ocean - Joy McCann

Wild Sea

A History of the Southern Ocean

Paperback Published: 1st June 2018
ISBN: 9781742235738
Number Of Pages: 256

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Latitude 54° 02? South, Longitude 37° 14' West:

Prion Island, South Georgia

Unimpeded by any landmass, the mysterious Southern Ocean flows completely around Earth from west to east between the seasonally shifting icy continent of Antarctica and the coastlines and islands of Australia, New Zealand, South America and South Africa.

Weaving together sea captains’ journals, whalers’ log books, explorers’ letters, scientific research and ancient beliefs with her own voyage of discovery, Joy McCann reveals the secrets of a little-known ocean and its importance as a barometer of climate change.

About the Author

Joy McCann is a historian specialising in environmental, cultural and political history. She is currently a Visiting Scholar at the ANU School of History and Honorary Research Associate with the Centre for Environmental History. She has worked extensively as a public historian, researcher and curator in the cultural heritage, museums and libraries sector.

Industry Reviews

‘a thrillingly hybrid creation, drawing together elements of environmental and intellectual history, science and personal observation to illuminate not just the physical and ecological reality of this loneliest of wildernesses but also the ways humans have understood it…the book is ultimately a hymn to connection and wonder, and a recognition of the myriad ways in which the Southern Ocean touches all of us.’
James Bradley, The Australian

‘This bracing history charts the myths, the exploration and the inhabitants of the all-too-real and wild circumpolar ocean to our south. It’s a vast and potentially unwieldy subject that McCann deftly distils to its essentials, from the ocean’s winds and icy currents to the krill that sustain its depths and the albatross that cruise its skies.’
Sydney Morning Herald, Pick of the Week, 4 August 2018

'Using the best of her expertise as a respected historian and researcher, Joy McCann asks us to think about the Southern Ocean as more than just a 'remote scientific laboratory, or as a source of food or prosperity'...A wonderful book club text or book to spark dinner table conversation.'
Jo Printz, ABC Central Victoria Breakfast

Informative and engaging


McMann is a capable writer and her comparatively brief book covers a lot more than just history. Geography, ecology and oceanography are all given their due in a readable account of the Southern Ocean. I enjoyed it a lot. Unfortunately Wild Sea has some fairly basic errors that I suspect may not all be McCann's fault. A lot of modern nonfiction seems to be poorly edited. Marco Polo was not Spanish. His name appear in the index.He's not the only one. The index is actually pretty poor. At the end of the chapter "Ocean" a lengthy quote from James Cook could not possibly be from him. It speaks of trains and steamships. The misattribution is in both the text and the bibliography. A few mistakes aside it's good popular history. I'd read anything else by her.

Sydney, Australia



4.0 1


ISBN: 9781742235738
ISBN-10: 1742235735
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 256
Published: 1st June 2018
Publisher: NewSouth Publishing
Country of Publication: AU
Dimensions (cm): 23.4 x 15.3

Earn 52 Qantas Points
on this Book